- - Monday, December 12, 2011

FEDERAL RESERVE

Fed nears a plan to clarify direction of rates

The Federal Reserve under Ben S. Bernanke has done more to explain its policies to the public than ever before. It’s ready to go further still.

A Fed policy meeting Tuesday will likely focus, in part, on an evolving plan to reveal the direction of interest rates more explicitly. The Fed may decide, for example, to regularly update the public on how long it plans to keep short-term rates at record lows.

The new communications strategy could be unveiled as soon as next month.

Most analysts expect no announcements Tuesday about the new strategy or any further steps to try to strengthen the economy. They think the Fed wants to delay any new programs, such as additional bond purchases, to see if the economy can continue the modest gains it’s been making.

TECHNOLOGY

Intel cuts outlook, cites supply shortages

SANTA CLARA — After chip-maker Intel Corp. cut its fourth-quarter revenue outlook Monday because of hard-disk-drive shortages stemming from massive flooding in Thailand, shares for the entire sector sank.

Only stocks of financial companies fell more sharply as their industry was dogged by renewed anxiety about the debt crisis in Europe.

Intel, based in Santa Clara, Calif., now expects fourth-quarter revenues of $13.4 billion to $14 billion, down from $14.2 billion to $15.2 billion during the key holiday quarter. Wall Street was looking for revenue of $14.65 billion, according to FactSet.

Shares of Intel, the world’s largest maker of microprocessors, fell $1.08, or 4.3 percent, to $23.94 Monday.

Shares of rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. slipped 24 cents, also 4.3 percent, to $5.30. Shares of Texas Instruments, meanwhile, were down 84 cents, or 2.8 percent, trading at $29.10.

ENERGY

French nuclear giant to post large loss

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